House fire human caused

UPDATE: June 15, 9:40 a.m.

A fire that destroyed a vacant Keremeos home on Thursday was human caused, according to Keremeos RCMP.

"Depending on the results of the investigation, charges may be laid," Cpl. Brian Evans said. "Once we have gathered and reviewed all the evidence we will have a better idea."

Keremeos fire chief Jordy Bosscha says the fire began around 1 p.m. and started as a small backyard fire before spreading to the home, located on 4 Street between 10 and 11 Avenues.

The home was completely destroyed, and Bosscha said the second floor collapsed on itself.

"We have no way of telling how far the fire got into the main floor area, we had an excavator come in and tear it apart. Otherwise we'd probably still be there."

Crews worked for about four hours to completely extinguish the blaze, and spent another hour cleaning up and debriefing. 

No one was injured and the fire was contained to the single property. According to BC Assessment, the home was built in 1920 and the property is close to 2.8 acres in size.

Bosscha also gave thanks to former Keremeos Mayor and former fire chief Walter Despot, who lives nearby and stopped others from driving over the water line while crews were battling the fire.

"It would've more than likely busted that water line, so we'd have to shut everything down and restring a new section of fire hose."

ORIGINAL: June 14, 2:30 p.m.

Fire crews are battling a large house fire in Keremeos.

The blaze is near the corner of 4th Street and 10th Avenue in a home that has been vacant for months, according to witnesses.

The fire has created a large plume of dark grey smoke visible throughout the surrounding area.

Castanet will update with more information as it becomes available.

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